'Never Normal' is the resounding campaign message to boost Brighton during uncertain times

"We don't do standard," is the message behind a new tourism campaign by creative agency Designate for VisitBrighton, which turns the annoying phrase "the new normal" on its head.

Moving away from the gloomy pandemic chatter we've all come to despise, the ad points to what makes Brighton so special and why the city couldn't do "normal" even if it tried. The idea is to encourage locals and visitors to escape the mundanity of this year with a trip to Brighton (obviously, when allowed to).

Combining eye-catching images, creative and an irreverent tone of voice, the campaign showcases the city's exciting and offbeat culture.

Faye Carré, creative director at Designate, says: "During the pandemic, we were monitoring how people were responding to communications around coronavirus and we knew that audiences were tired of hearing the same gloomy phrases and the bleak messaging.

"Designate has been part of Brighton culture for 30 years, so when we came up with the Never Normal campaign idea, we knew it was perfect. That's what people love about Brighton – it's the people, the culture and the sense of freedom."

She adds: "Our unconventional campaign is full of life, subversive and has flex to work across the ever-changing coronavirus restrictions. But crucially it also has life beyond the pandemic – Brighton will definitely never be normal. Our approach at Designate is to find that elusive part of the brand that will deliver stand out and make people pay attention."

VisitBrighton promotes the city to visitors from the UK and around the world, working in partnership with more than 500 businesses across Brighton and Sussex. There are four phases to the campaign which include initially targeting Brighton residents, then day-trippers from around the South East, followed by family and friends of residents who might want to plan an overnight stay and finally looking to long-stay visitors and even those from overseas.

The team began working on the campaign during June, commissioning local street photographers Kevin Meredith and JJ Waller, as well as collaborating with more than 500 partners of VisitBrighton, who shared photos to use as part of the creative.

Honest and authentic images of the people and places fuel the campaign. It features well-known Brighton characters with the phrase 'Welcome to Never Normal Brighton', or the outlandish Royal Pavilion, illuminated at night with the tagline: 'We've always been open to the unusual'.

Another image shows a photo of tourist attraction the Upside Down House with the phrase: 'Looking for the new normal? Keep Looking. Brighton is coming back to life, but if you're looking for the new normal, you might be in the wrong place'.

The campaign is running in out of home locations, as well as across digital and social media. Discover more at designate.com.


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